After gaining familiarity with the lives and music of Copland and Ellington, students write each a formal letter expressing how culture is reflected in music. Students create a bio-poem about the composer’s life and music.
Students will gain an understanding of music’s relationship to the American, French and Russian revolutions. Students will also gain knowledge that music has changed over the last 200 years as a result of a musical revolution.
This lesson will contrast Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring (classical) and Stephane Furic's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry (jazz), and the role the poems Crossing Brooklyn Ferry by Walt Whitman and The Bridge by Hart Crane, bring to the music.
This lesson involves two genres of music: a classical composition, Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, Autumn from Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi; and a jazz rendition of Autumn Leaves, by Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert, performed by Wynton Marsalis. The children are given and bring background information about the fall season, particularly how leaves fall off of a tree or blow in the wind. The children engage in an activity where they can drop a leaf and watch it fall or blow.
The students will describe the life of Duke Ellington and his contributions to the field of jazz. The students will create "nick names" similar to jazz performers of the 1920's by using adjectives that describe themselves. The students will create an original poem using a variety of popular vocabulary from the 1920s as well as adjectives that describe a mood they feel from listening to the musical selection. The students will create an illustration to decorate an adjective word wall in the room.
Students will understand the qualities of jazz and connect the music to The Great Gatsby, namely Fitzgerald’s writing style and his words. Students will also make a final determination whether jazz is a representation of social status and class.
Students will be introduced to the great jazz composer and band leader, Duke Ellington by listening to his re-composed, re-orchestrated version of Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, following a previously taught thematic lesson about Tchaikovsky's classic. Students use there prior knowledge of musical concepts and the instrumentation of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite to recognize similar melodies in Ellington's work to that of Tchaikovsky. Share and Discuss >View Lesson Plan (PDF 0.1MB)